The ministerial work must be carried on purely for God and the salvation of souls… They who engage in this as a common work, to make a trade of it for their worldly livelihood, will find that they have chosen a bad trade, though a good employment. Self-denial is of absolute necessity in every Christian, but it is doubly necessary in a minister, as without it he cannot do God an hour’s faithful service. Hard studies, much knowledge, and excellent preaching, if the ends be not right is but more glorious hypocritical sinning. Reverend Richard Baxter1
I’ve been blogging off and on for years, finally arriving at this moment when I can put proverbial pen to paper, in order to recount, report and reflect upon over 30 years of formal ministry as the director of two apologetic groups, Ex-Mormons for Jesus and Jude 23, as well as serving in the role of an elder (pastor or overseer) and church planter for most of that time. I’ve always had a keen desire to see others grow in Christ and serve His Bride, the Church, but my focus now is on the next generation of leaders.2
In my next post on the subject, I’ll say something about how I plan to go about encouraging Christian leaders “purely for God and the salvation of souls,” through this ongoing series. I hope to see you then.
- Baxter The Reformed Pastor pg. 111 [↩]
- The New Testament uses the terms elder, pastor, overseer or their various other translations, such as shepherd or bishop, interchangeably. This NT vocabulary serves to illustrate or emphasize the character and various functions of the leader(s) in local Christian communities. So, when I speak of elders, pastors or overseers on this blog, I am referring to the same leaders within a church – an elder is a pastor and an overseer. [↩]